PRINCETON — MACO Development Co. project manager Lori Edwards told the city council here her company is interested in creating both "market rate" and "workforce rate" housing in and around the former Princeton High School building on State Street.
As Edwards discussed the proposed $12 million development investment with the council, North Gibson school trustees approved the Clarkton, Missouri-based developer's offer on an option to buy the property for $200,000, contingent upon the project moving forward.
Edwards said she presented the proposal to Princeton's city administration a few weeks ago, but hadn't received further word on bringing the plan to the redevelopment commission, so she opted to bring the proposal to the council.
The plan envisions redeveloping the former high school/middle school building into apartments and building duplex housing on adjoining property owned by the school corporation.
Edwards said the historic integrity of the school building would be maintained, although it's uncertain whether the gymnasium could be preserved. About half of the total investment would be directed to rehabilitation of the building.
She said there has been some discussion with school officials of saving gym flooring and bleachers, "a lot of unique ideas."
She said rentals carved out of space in the school building would be available based on income qualifications. A family of four with annual income under $40,000 would qualify for those apartments, she said.
The duplex housing built on the adjacent property would be considered market rate housing, with no income caps.
"It sounds like a good plan," council member Sheri Greene said.
Council member Greg Wright said he appreciates the effort to save an historic building, and council president Jan Ballard apologized to Edwards for any perception that the city isn't interested in the proposal.
The proposal would hinge on meeting criteria for tax credits, and Edwards said there's a July 30 deadline this year.
"We feel there's a chance to move forward," she said, adding if the opportunity didn't work out this year, the developers would still be interested in the future.